September 27, 2018
Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, has disclosed that by October this year 1000 health personnel will be recruited in the ministry, adding that 100 will be State Registered Nurses (SRNs), 500 State Enrolled Community Health Nurses (SECHNs) and 400 cadres of staff including Maternal and Child Health Aides (MCH Aides), Lab Technicians among others.
Speaking during the handing over of 10 trucks of Free Healthcare drugs to Bo district, Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie said that after the Ebola outbreak in the country, the ministry lost many health personnel, adding that he had sought permission from President Julius Maada Bio to recruit more health professionals. He stated that the recruitment clearance has been granted, adding that 1000 positions would be advertised for recruitment countrywide and encouraged interested persons to apply.
He said the recruitment was meant to populate health centres, PHUs and hospitals with health personnel, adding that next year 2000 health personnel would be recruited – 1000in February and another 1000 in June. He added that by 2019 the National Health System would be operational with a view to transforming the health sector, adding that plans were underway for the construction of an equipped Cancer Centre in Sierra Leone, which the government would pay for within seven years.
Dr. Wurie informed his audience that the ministry would be introducing school health programme wherein health centres operate in schools and nurses will treat minor cases and refer major ones to hospitals. He also noted that due to the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the country, the ministry would introduce family planning at schools to teach school going pupils about family planning and to pay attention to learning rather than engage in sex .
He called on Paramount Chiefs, stakeholders, including civil society groups and communities to take ownership of the drugs in order to ensure that they are not stolen and reach the beneficiaries
UNICEF Maternal and Neo-natal Health Specialist, Dr. Asha Pun said when the Free Healthcare initiative started, UNICEF partnered with the Ministry of Health to procure the drugs and distribute them across the country.
She described the distribution exercise as a commitment to accountability by the ministry in ensuring that free healthcare drugs reach the right group of people.
Dr. Pun stated that the drugs are one of the main pillars for quality healthcare in the country and assured of UNICEF’s continued support to the Health Ministry for the procurement of drugs, and expressed hope that the distribution exercise would be undertaken by the ministry.
Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Augustine Anthony Sandi reminded all that they were in Bo to hand over the drugs not only to the health sector, but the entire district, especially Paramount Chiefs and stakeholders, including religious leaders, women leaders and youth leaders.
He appealed to them to be on the watch for the appropriate use of these drugs, adding that if they saw people stealing the drugs they have a duty to report the matter to the appropriate authorities for actions.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Robert Tamba Chakanda said any country that is planned is one that moves forward in development. He commended the Ministry of Health for the coordinated drugs distribution exercise and pledged his ministry’s support at all time.